Water Allocation & Management

Efforts to rationally manage water in the West – allocating water to the most valuable uses, both human and ecological – are hampered by a lack of data, fragmented governance, and the West’s rigid prior appropriation system. Water in the West conducts research to find paths to efficient water allocation.

  • Study water banks and other market-based mechanisms for improving flexibility of water allocation.
  • In partnership with ReNUWit, explore innovative policies to promote urban water efficiency, recycling, and management.
  • Study new models for water pricing and other market-based mechanisms for implementing water efficiency and other management goals.
What's New

July 21, 2016

California needs to better prepare for droughts. A new study highlights the costs, benefits and obstacles of a possible solution – managed aquifer recharge.

July 05, 2016

California has been in a serious drought for years and its consequences are mounting from increased fires to lower water tables. With no end in sight, Margaret Bowman is looking to water-focused impact investing as a...

In Focus
March 4, 2015

Water in the West convened three experts to discuss the causes, policy implications and possible responses to California’s ongoing drought, including what a fourth year of drought will mean for the state.

In the Media

November 09, 2015
Los Angeles Times

California's Prop 1 funding could provide six times more storage capacity if spent on projects such as this groundwater banking project, rather than on new dams and reservoirs.

November 02, 2015

California legislators look to Aussies for lessons on how to deal with drought. For starters, Rebecca Nelson, a research fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, estimates half of Melbourne homes capture and store rainwater.